A Heartfelt Endorsement
One of my businesses before retirement was a manufacturing concern to which I also added a construction company.
Those of my friends here who are curious as to what I was up to in the past, might find the attached video of interest. It took a year to make and shows what we did in detail. I am the beefy guy in the beginning of the video, twirling a building around on my computer screen.
I sold my share in that business fully expecting all the partners to make a killing, but that is another story.
During that period I built a house for a guy with a wonderful sense of humour by the name of Alan Streeter, with whom I became quite friendly. On moving into his new home, Alan sent me two letters in the same envelope and I used BOTH of them for advertising purposes. The first one was a very warm "thank you" letter for the wonderful home we had built for him and the second went as follows:
Dear Mr. De Greek,
Our therapist thought it might prove cathartic, and of benefit to my wife and I, if we were to write to you, and update you on events that have taken place in the six months since we occupied the house your Company constructed for us.
He told us that we were suffering from a case of Stockholm Syndrome Transference. You will doubtless remember the case of the hostages taken during a Stockholm bank robbery, who became emotionally dependant upon their captors. In much the same way, he told us, we were becoming emotionally dependant upon our tormentors, and had learned to become reliant upon our daily telephone calls to you, asking you to send workers to either repair or complete our home.
You will remember that when we moved in, the weather was quite cold, but our discomfort was somewhat alleviated by the electrical fire. The heat that this generated, plus the adrenalin of evacuating in the middle of the night, kept us warm for a few days.
When we re-occupied the house, spring was starting to appear, and the wild flowers that abound in Cyprus did a wonderful job of lifting our spirits, providing a special splash of cover, when they appeared in the cracks between the tiles on the lounge floor.
The strange echo that one hears when continually wearing hard hats inside the house, is more than offset by the protection that they offer against the falling objects and debris.
Likewise the need to wear rubber gloves when touching anything electric is compensated for by the softness of the skin on my wife’s hands, due to the need to wear them for most of the waking day. So you see; we have learned that to every disadvantage, there is an advantage.
The problems surrounding the visits of your Civil Engineer, Mr. Vangelis, were surmounted by the simple expedient of sticking a photograph of him by the front door, so that we now recognise him, even after the longest absence, and we haven’t mistakenly called the police for some time now. Speaking of the police, the dawn raid by Interpol, when they captured and arrested all of your workers on site, from Eastern Europe and on the run having perpetrated all manner of crimes, reaped huge financial rewards. Indeed, the reward we were given almost paid for the repairs necessary to the roof.
Once again, fortune favoured us. At the onset of summer, when the front balcony collapsed, taking with it the upstairs bedroom wall, it offered a unique opportunity to sleep under the stars; and as a bonus, your workers having omitted to put insulation in the loft, the bedroom was so much cooler. Additionally, waking up in the morning covered in dew also meant that the fact that the shower didn’t work was now of little importance.
Our daily telephone calls to your office enquiring after progress, workers, medical bills and so on, have also proved to be a pleasant method of getting to know the ladies who divert our calls away from you. Indeed, the two weddings, and the engagement parties we have attended have appreciably widened our social circle.
We have nothing but praise for your Accountant, and as proof of our good relations, we always make a point of visiting him whenever we visit Nicosia, provided of course that our arrival coincides with the visiting times at Nicosia Prison.
The adaptability shown by the pool you built is also of great value. When it became apparent that (a) it would never be completed, and that (b) it would leak in any case, my wife who is a keen gardener, and I, converted it into an underground conservatory. Apart from the snakes, this has proved to be a most relaxing place to take cover, when the odd earthquake induces falls of masonry etc., from the house.
Whilst discussing your staff, our calls to Mr. Vangelis, in his capacity as Complaints Manager have become something that we both look forward to. His laughter is so infectious that after a while, we find ourselves laughing along with him.
In conclusion, Mr. De Greek, our dealings with you prove once again, the underlying truth behind the old adage, “that which doesn’t kill me, makes me stronger”. Following her nervous breakdown, my wife has made a complete recovery, and provided she remembers to take her medication, is almost always bright and cheerful. She has completely put behind her the unfortunate incident with your foreman, and the axe. How is he by the way?
For my part, expert counselling has completely dispelled those silly thoughts revolving around suicide, and my prematurely grey hair has added a dignity to my person that my psychiatrist tells me, wasn’t there before.
Yes, I would say that the last six months have been a steep but educational learning curve, and with good counselling I view things in an entirely different light. To this end, I would thank you for this, and as proof, I have earnestly been trying to contact the four Bulgarian hitmen I employed, in order to tell them of my change of heart. If I am unsuccessful in this, and you meet them, before I can speak with them, perhaps you would be kind enough to inform them, if they give you sufficient time; that the contract has been cancelled?
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